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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

ExaGrid-Veeam Solution ‘Best Decision’ for IT Company’s Data Center

Customer Overview

Since 1986, MCM Technology Solutions, located in the Louisville, Kentucky area, has practiced servant leadership in a culture of faith, family, and community. They have become a leader in the technology community by providing their team and yours with opportunities to perform at their peak and grow as individuals and professionals. Their mission as trusted partners has always been to provide their clients with a competitive advantage by designing technology answers, addressing challenges and providing solutions.

Key Benefits:

  • ExaGrid and Veeam integrate to provide ‘solid’ solution with expert support
  • Ingest speed of ExaGrid- Veeam ‘much faster’ than other solutions in the data center
  • Running a VM from ExaGrid’s landing zone results in quick restoration, minimal downtime
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ExaGrid is Best Fit for Data Center Redesign

When Nathan Smitha started his position as MCM Technology Solution’s senior network architect, the company was in the process of redesigning its data center, which included upgrading the backup environment. One of Smitha’s first projects was to implement a new backup solution. “We were already using Veeam as our primary backup application, so I looked at backup appliances that would work best with it. I eventually narrowed the search down to Dell EMC Data Domain and ExaGrid. Since we already use a Dell EMC SAN in our environment I was inclined to stick with the same vendor for backup storage, but I was interested in ExaGrid’s built-in integration with Veeam and also ExaGrid’s Landing Zone, which allows for faster backups as the data stored on it doesn’t need to be rehydrated.

ExaGrid also offered better pricing, so we ended up purchasing that system. I think choosing ExaGrid was the best decision we’ve made because I have worked with Data Domain in other environments and I’ve had a much better experience using ExaGrid.”

The ExaGrid system is easy to install and use and works seamlessly with the industry’s leading backup applications so that an organization can retain its investment in its existing backup applications and processes. “Installing the ExaGrid system was a quick and simple process. I was able to just ‘rack and stack’ it, as they say in the industry. After that, I worked with my ExaGrid support engineer to get it online and configured. The whole process only took two hours, which is impressive, especially compared to the lengthy hardware installs I’ve experienced with other products in our data center,” said Smitha.

"What I like best about working with ExaGrid and Veeam is that they recommend each other and work closely with each other, so I know I have a solid solution approved by vendors on both sides of my backups. I’ve actually had three-way calls with my Veeam and ExaGrid support engineers who have taken me through the best practices of using the products together. "

Nathan Smitha, Senior Network Architect

‘Spare-Tire Mode’: Running a VM from a Backup

Smitha backs up the company’s data in daily incremental backups and a weekly synthetic full. He finds that backing up data to the ExaGrid- Veeam solution is quick and efficient. “Our backup windows are short, between three to four hours each night. The ingest speed is much faster than other solutions I work with in the data center,” he said.

ExaGrid writes backups directly to a disk-cache Landing Zone, avoiding inline processing and ensuring the highest possible backup performance, which results in the shortest backup window. Adaptive Deduplication performs deduplication and replication in parallel with backups for a strong recovery point (RPO). As data is being deduplicated to the repository, it can also be replicated to a second ExaGrid site or the public cloud for disaster recovery (DR).

“Using Veeam to restore data from the ExaGrid system is so fast! I’ve actually had to use ExaGrid in ‘spare-tire mode’ where we ran a VM directly from a backup on the landing zone, from the ExaGrid system itself. ExaGrid’s landing zone had been one of the features I was drawn to during the evaluation process, and it ended up being so useful when we needed it. We were able to figure out what caused the problem and restore the program in real time, so there was very minimal downtime for us at that point,” said Smitha.

ExaGrid and Veeam can instantly recover a file or VMware virtual machine by running it directly from the ExaGrid appliance in the event that the file is lost, corrupted or encrypted or the primary storage VM becomes unavailable. This instant recovery is possible because of ExaGrid’s Landing Zone – a high-speed disk cache on the ExaGrid appliance that retains the most recent backups in their complete form. Once the primary storage environment has been brought back to a working state, the VM backed up on the ExaGrid appliance can then be migrated to primary storage for continued operation.

ExaGrid and Veeam: A ‘Solid Solution’ with Expert Support

Smitha has found that he seldom needs to call ExaGrid support because the system is so reliable. “I’ve only needed to call ExaGrid support a few times in all the years that we’ve had an ExaGrid system, and mostly regarding firmware updates. I like that I’ve been able to speak with the same support engineer since the beginning when our ExaGrid system was first installed.”

The ExaGrid system was designed to be easy to set up and operate. ExaGrid’s industry- leading level 2 senior support engineers are assigned to individual customers, ensuring they always work with the same engineer. Customers never have to repeat themselves to various support staff, and issues get resolved quickly.

“What I like best about working with ExaGrid and Veeam is that they recommend each other and work closely with each other, so I know I have a solid solution approved by vendors on both sides of my backups. I’ve actually had three-way calls with my Veeam and ExaGrid support engineers who have taken me through the best practices of using the products together,” said Smitha.

Veeam’s backup solutions and ExaGrid’s Tiered Backup Storage combine for the industry’s fastest backups, fastest restores, a scale-out storage system as data grows, and a strong ransomware recovery story – all at the lowest cost.

ExaGrid-Veeam Combined Dedupe

Veeam uses changed block tracking to perform a level of data deduplication. ExaGrid allows Veeam deduplication and Veeam dedupe-friendly compression to stay on. ExaGrid will increase Veeam’s deduplication by a factor of about 7:1 to a total combined deduplication ratio of 14:1, reducing the storage required and saving on storage costs up front and over time.

About ExaGrid

ExaGrid provides Tiered Backup Storage with a unique disk-cache Landing Zone that enables fastest backups and restores, a Repository Tier that offers the lowest cost for long-term retention and enables ransomware recovery, and scale-out architecture which includes full appliances with up to 6PB full backup in a single system.

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